Saturday, 29 January 2011

Are we a grown-up, responsible people .......... Letter to Irish Media.

Are we a grown-up, responsible people capable of managing ourselves with integrity and intelligence?” is the key.

(this piece was written as a response to some of the more divisive, angry and potentially abusive postings on the net with regard to the current situation in Ireland. I beleive it appplies across the Earth...)

If we are, then we don’t leave it to others – WE get involved, at the local level, and we reject the concept of being ruled, of Governance being in POWER.

We take our responsibilities towards OUR Society seriously.

We find ways to discuss, to... share information, we find ways to avoid squabbling and acting out our anger, wats to utilise that anger so it’s energy is directed towards creativity, we find time to create understanding, empathy and common ground that includes diversity, that finds ways to integrate the diverse as a pool of information and insight towards the goal of managing our country together.

Some might say it’s a lot to ask for. Well it’s not going to be easy, that’s for sure, Not as easy as voting, and sitting back, doing bugger all and handing over taxes as payment for services – we cannot afford to be mere consumers of political ideologies, of our favourite and most liked personal prejudices….

We need to mature.

We need to start and we need to be courageous enough to do this, knowing that while we don’t have all the answers, we can find them, test them and move forwards as a Society.

I am saying that we have to be aware of how our own anger and our vulnerability can be used against us; how we can be triggered by the abusers, who KNOW our vulnerabilities well.. and do exploit them - look at the Redress Board and how they took an adversarial approach to witnesses - that adversarial approach was designed to exploit known vulnerabilities of Survivors, to create hesitation in their statements and thus to sow doubt about their testimony.

Look at how unresolved anger is triggered by propaganda. These processes are known and understood by Power and used to great and unfortunately lethal effect - eg: Afghanistan and Iraq and anti-muslim propganda, or anti-imigrant propganda.

Forgiveness, if it is to occur, can only be on the basis of true remorse on the part of the perpetrators, with reparations and restorative justice actualised, in material terms, and can only be offered by those who suffered as individuals, and is more importantly to be seen as a way of enabling Survivors release themselves from the pain, shame, confusion and anger they feel.

A shorter version of this was also sent out to Irish Media, and was published in the Irish Independent on February 1st 2011.

Kindest regards


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